Tag Archives: Christmas

Snow fall in Edinburgh

On the second of January I woke early to find a new snow fall had dusted Edinburgh with a coating of what looked like icing sugar on a Victorian film set.

I dressed quickly and headed into town, eager to see the city centre streets before too many footprints and tyre tracks had muddied the white stuff. I walked up through Stockbridge taking photographs at every corner. So many views that look so different, fresh and clean with snow on the floor.

As I passed through the New Town I had to stop and make a quick drawing, I sat on a Georgian step and looked across Forres Street around the corner of Moray Place Gardens. Such a perfect scene with the stunning architecture, railings and lamps rising out of the snow!

After finishing my piece I walked up onto Princes Street taking more photos to work from, and trying to get the blood back into my fingers!

Enjoy the winter snow fall everyone 🙂

I later added a sledger being pulled across the road as an idea for a Christmas card for next year:

Festive Cheer on the Streets

A new #supportabusinesssketch for the new year and this beautiful shiny shop front is the Mark David Salon in Henderson Row.

During the festive break the Sketcher family when out on our daily walk would pass by Henderson Row frequently on a circle rout through Stockbridge and Inverleith Park.

This shop front (at 83 Henderson Row) always caught our eyes, with beautiful baubles and flowers, and a nutcracker drummer model, at first I thought it was a florist there were som many flowers and plants outside.

But this is home to the Mark David Salon and they provide a huge range of treatments and pampering, relaxation and escapism for both men and women, something which is very well needed for everyone just now!

Double check on their website for up to date details about the latest restrictions due to the pandemic, and when they can take appointments again.


I am using my #supportabusinesssketch drawings to give a little boost to the independent businesses which make Edinburgh so special, especially during the current pandemic and lock down restrictions.
Also I am drawing each one in a new style of pencil and watercolour, which makes them quite distinctive and different to my usual ink drawings. See more of the support a business sketches by clicking HERE.

All wrapped up for Christmas

Edinburgh sparkles in its festive costume, like this huge bow around the Rutland Hotel.

I love the way the city transforms for Christmas and I can’t help getting carried away with it all, the lights along the street, the trees in the windows and the music in all the shops.

So I give huge thanks to all those who help make the transformation complete, like this building which is home to the Huxley, Kyloe and the Rutland Hotel, whose sign lies beneath the wrapping.

Shortly the decorations will be taken down, as they are in my house and put away for another year. Let the countdown to Christmas 2020 begin!

The Rutland Hotel
The Huxley
Kyloe Restaurant

Make Christmas cards from your West End sketches

Join me on Sunday 17th November and be inspired by Edinburgh’s Georgian architecture.

Following on from my first Christmas Card themed workshop a couple of weeks ago I will be back at Paper Tiger on Stafford Street to run two more workshops in November.

Each person who buys a ticket will receive a goody bag including a moleskine sketch book which we will use to draw a few locations around the West End in black ink.

I will be there to help you get started with a few tips and techniques so your confidence will grow as we move around the area. Working in black ink you will capture perspective and depth in your drawings.

Once back at Paper Tiger I will show you how you can turn these drawings into Christmas Cards ensuring you can send out your very own works of art this year.

Each place is ÂŁ25 and included in that is your Paper Tiger goody bag and also all materials needed to take the workshop.

Book your place here:

17th November 12.30pm – 2.00pm

17th November 2.30pm – 4.00pm

Paper Tiger Facebook page

These photos were taken on the previous workshop with Paper Tiger

Dancing on George Street to Silent Light

Edinburgh’s Christmas Silent Light brings together two great ideas – a sparkly light installation and a silent disco!

On Monday evening I found myself dancing through George Street with Mrs Sketcher and around a hundred other revellers grooving to Christmas tunes whilst 60,000 lights above my head flashed to the music.

There are up to five Silent Light shows a day, each 20 minutes long. We enjoyed the Christmas Crackers playlist but there are two others: Santa’s Sparkles, especially suitable for families, and Disco Delights for the party crowd.

Tickets are ÂŁ4.50 with 50p from every ticket purchased for Silent Light goes to support One City Trust, a charity fighting inequality and exclusion in the city.

I really enjoyed the experience, dancing away on the cobbles with wireless earphones tuned into festive tunes. I surprisingly forgot I was outside in the middle of Edinburgh’s city centre. Grab a ticket now and go with your friends or family, and be sure to have a dance.

I will be returning with our two kids as I’m sure they will love it – and they serve yummy hot chocolate (as well as a selection of alcoholic drinks) too 😉

The sketch above was drawn in black ink on location and then coloured later.

Book your tickets here at the Edinburgh’s Christmas website

Christmas at the Botanics, the final few days

imageThe Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is currently running a magical outdoor trail of light celebrating Christmas.

You have just two more chances to see this years Christmas at the Botanics, a stunning light show which is fast becoming another must do annual event in the capital.

I visited it’s the family and seeing the gardens lit up is truly a magical experience for all, the Sketcher twins (age 6) in particular love seeing the trees in a rainbow of colour.

For me I loved the ‘singing’ tall trees, each one lighting up the surrounding vegetation in a different colour and tone, creating a choir of trees. As people stopped to listen to the illuminated towering figures I sketched in pencil,colouring later from memory.

If you can I recommend you grab one of the last tickets (either today or Saturday) to this magical experience, there are many highlights in the mile long trail as it winds its way around the famous grounds. It’s always great to see a well known place in a new light.

This sketch was drawn in pencil, with watercolour.

The Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh website.


Christmas stars, strong coffee and perfect pastries, at Victor Hugo

VictorHugos pencil doodleThis Edinburgh deli has been a strong favourite of Mrs Sketcher and I for a long time, ever since we discovered it as a haven of normality when our baby was staying at the Sick Kids hospital.

Almost six years later and we still love sitting in the window looking out over the Meadows as we sip cappuccinos and let our worries fade into daydreams.

Sketcher Twin 1 had an appointment at Rillbank this afternoon and so found ourselves there once again but this time looking through sparkly Christmas stars in the window, and doodling with Sketcher Twin 2. I will miss this place when the hospital moves out to Little France next year, and the views over the ever changing Meadows Park.

Today’s drawing doodled in pencil

Victor Hugos Delicatessen twitter page.

A family trip through Edinburgh’s Christmas

EdinburghsChristmas2017This week the Sketcher clan took a trip through Santa’s Wonderland in the Princes Street Gardens before warming up with some very fine Asian cuisine at Wagamama.

Its at least an annual visit to Edinburgh’s Christmas markets and kids fun fair for the Sketcher family, we love having a go on the rides, watching the kids get so excited when they see the candy house and remembering how fast the little rollercoaster is when you jolt around the corners!

I think Christmas is my favourite time of year and I love the colours, decorations, music and silliness which takes over the city centre and enjoy spending time with the family and seeing them get so excited by it all. And there is no better place to do that than in Santa’s Wonderland. The Sketcher Twins (aged 6) highlights were the Reindeer ride with falling ‘snow’ and of course the beautiful Helter Skelter, always a favourite.

We spent the afternoon soaking up the festive spirit, and a mulled wine for Mum and Dad before heading up onto Lothian Road for dinner at Wagamama.

Wagamama food

Being Gluten Free myself the Japanese inspired restaurant chain is a familiar place for us, with a good choice of dishes for all. And the slightly spicy selection recommended to us by our helpful waiter was just the thing to warm us up on a frosty Edinburgh evening.

Edinburgh’s Christmas website

Wagamama Lothian road

Sketches made with ink and watercolourin an A5 ArtGecko sketch pad.

Join me capturing Edinburgh’s Christmas in sketches

Dome Closeup ChristmasCreate your very own montage of festive sketches at the one off Christmas workshop in Edinburgh’s New Town

Spend Friday 15th December with me picking up speed sketching tips both inside and out as we make our way around Edinburgh’s New Town, drawing some of George Streets beautiful decorations and spending some time in the Portrait gallery on Queen Street.

Finished Monatages x2

Lunch and beverages are included in this seven hour festive workshop. We will venture out with both ink fine liners and watercolour sets before creating a bespoke framed montage to take home, together with a boosted confidence in your own ability!

For more details and to book see the link below and I hope to see you on Friday.

The Ariennas Collective website